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The Costs of German Division

A Research Report

Werner Pfennig, Vu Tien Dung, and Alexander Pfennig

West Germany, no more transit fees were paid to the still-existing German Democratic Republic ( gdr ), which meant savings of up to dm 915 million. The division of Germany lasted for 40 years and was not free of charge. So far, these expenses have

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The District Leadership Cadre of the Stasi

Who Were These Men and Why Did They Not Crush Mass Protest in 1989?

Uwe Krähnke, Anja Zschirpe, Philipp Reimann, and Scott Stock Gissendanner

The Ministry for State Security (Stasi), founded in 1950, was a central pillar of the German Democratic Republic’s ( gdr ) authoritarian system. 1 Its duties extended well beyond national intelligence and counterintelligence. It collected and

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DIY, im Eigenverlag

East German Tamizdat LPs

Seth Howes

its cues from the questions raised by recent scholarship on samizdat and tamizdat, the present article looks at five long-playing records ( lp s) recorded in the German Democratic Republic ( gdr ) that were released unofficially in the Federal Republic

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Struggles in "the Stronghold of World Imperialism"

East German ''People's Friendship'' as Nontraditional Diplomacy in the United States, 1961–1989

Jason Johnson

This article centers on the League of People’s Friendship of the German Democratic Republic. The League, composed of a main organization in East Berlin and national partner societies scattered around the globe, served as a tool of nontraditional diplomacy for East Germany’s ruling communist party across much of the Cold War. This article sketches out the activities of the League’s partner organizations in the U.S.—the first analysis to do so—arguing first that given the variety of challenges and problems the League and its partner organizations faced, the limited success of these groups in the U.S. is, in the end, rather remarkable. Second, this essay argues that these organizations offer further evidence that East Germany was not exactly a puppet state.

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A. James McAdams

The author ponders over the identity of the last self-identifying East German and wonders what he or she will say before leaving memories of the region behind. He distinguishes among three possible candidates for this honor: the ordinary citizen with little aspiration to political or social notoriety; the enthusiast with an interest in perpetuating the old regime's values; and the dissident activist dedicated to transforming that order. After identifying the likely last East German, the author speculates about the message our protagonist will have to share with the leaders of unified Germany. Finally, he provides reasons for why the Federal Republic can benefit from this advice.

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“Homosexual People Do Not Stand Outside of Socialist Society”

Eingaben and the History of Homosexuality in East Germany

Jason Johnson

In the summer of 1989, a young gay man in East Berlin wrote to the highest levels of the dictatorial government of the German Democratic Republic ( gdr or East Germany), demanding justice as a homosexual. One of his messages included a bold

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Wenn eine Band lange Zeit lebt

Puhdys, Politics, and Popularity

John Littlejohn

Any history of East German rock music that overlooked the Puhdys would necessarily be incomplete. The Puhdys, founded in 1969, became the best-known and most popular rock band of the German Democratic Republic ( gdr ), selling more than twice

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Stefanie Diekmann, Sylvain Lesage, Michael D. Picone, Thomas Gebhart, and John D. Benjamin

scholars, creators, readers, and students. Thomas Gebhart University of the Arts London Sean Eedy , Four-Color Communism: Comics Books and Contested Power in the German Democratic Republic (New York: Berghahn Books, 2021). 218 pp. ISBN: 978

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Hilary Collier Sy-Quia

Elke P. Frederiksen and Martha Kaarsberg Wallach eds., Facing Fascism and Confronting the Past. German Women Writers from Weimar to the Present (Albany, 2000)

Lorna Martens, The Promised Land? Feminist Writing in the German Democratic Republic (Albany, 2001)

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Skating toward Americanization

The Transformation of Katarina Witt throughout the 1980s

Wesley Lim

At the 1987 World Figure Skating Championship, Katarina Witt skated to instrumental music from West Side Story playing the role of Maria. But how could her performance to Broadway show tunes be in line with SED ideology? Through histoire croisée— establishing multiple intersections with different cultures and tracing their continuing effects—this article examines how Witt’s, her coach Jutta Müller’s and choreographer Rudy Suchy’s privileged exposure to Western culture through dance, music, film, experiences abroad, and other skaters’ choreography and costuming inspired reappropriated manifestations through an East German lens into the packaging of Witt’s skating programs in the 1980s. Using television broadcasts, I analyze the gradual to overt Americanization of her programs as her government loosened its grips by granting her more artistic freedom.